The white tiger, or the bleached tiger, is one of the most beautiful animals in the world. The white tiger is just a Bengal tiger with a pigmentation variation, which means the tiger’s color is different than normal Bengal tiger colors, which are orange and black. Here are some white tiger facts.
Different Types Of Tigers
There are two recognized subspecies of tigers. The two subspecies are the continental or the Panthera tigris tigris and the Sunda or the Panthera tigris sondaica.
There are many different types of tigers in the world. Some of them include:
- Siberian tigers
- Sumatran tiger
- Amur tiger
- South China tiger
- Caspian tiger
- Indochinese tiger
- snow tigers
- Malayan tiger
- Eastern Bengal
- West Bengal
Here are some interesting facts about the White tiger and how even though many believe it to be its own species of tiger it is NOT! Many believe white tigers are albino tigers or have a genetic defect, but this is not true. White tigers are born because of a recessive gene. The chances of a white cub all depend on whether the female/male has the correct genes.
Characteristics of White Tigers
The white tiger is one of the most fascinating big cats. They have white fur, blue eyes, and black stripes. The large size is intimidating to many. A white tiger can weigh anywhere from 390 to 570 pounds. The white coat and white color are not only on their hair, but their skin is white and black stripes. Each striping pattern is unique, like a fingerprint.
The white tiger also has some unique body parts. The tiger’s front legs are shorter than the back legs, which helps them leap great distances. They also have large paws and sharp claws that can retract when not in use.
The white tiger is a solitary animal. Being solitary means they live alone and do not live in groups or packs. The average lifespan of a white tiger is 10 to 20 years. This lifespan does not change for captive tigers or captive white tigers.
White Tiger Habitat
The white tiger lives in Asia and India, just like the Bengal tiger. They have a variety of habitats that include tropical forests, dense jungles, mangrove swamps, and grasslands. The white tiger needs these large areas for hunting. 93% of the White tiger’s habitat has been lost to human development.
When looking to catch some zzzzs, the white tiger will look for shady, cool spots. These spots might include thickets, rocks, caves, tall grasses, dense trees, and shallow water bodies. If you are on a nature reserve, you may spot them relaxing on a muddy road.
White Tiger Food
Tigers are one of the biggest and most known predators. White tigers hunt alone and mostly at night. Since they hunt alone, tigers do not target very large animals. They eat pigs, cattle, and deer. A white tiger can eat as much as 80 pounds of meat at one meal. But, if it eats a huge meal it will not eat for a few days.
Some deer species the white tiger enjoys eating are:
- Swamp deer
- Hog deer
- Sikar deer
The white tiger hunts in large areas to make sure there is enough prey around to eat.
Baby White Tigers
Tigers are large mammals. Tigers are mammals because
- They have hair or fur covering their bodies.
- They feed their babies milk.
- They are warm-blooded.
- They give birth to live young.
The mating season for white tigers is during any month of the year. However, it happens mainly during the cooler months (November-April). Female white tigers will vocalize throughout the day to attract an adult male.
The gestation period of a female white tiger is 104 – 106 days. After this time, she will give birth to 2 to 4 babies. Tigers only give birth every two years unless all the cubs in one litter die. Then the female tiger will try to have another litter within five months.
A baby white tiger is called a cub. White tiger cubs are born blind and need their mother to help them survive. They weigh between 1.75 to 3.5 pounds. They open their eyes between six to twelve days after birth, but their vision is still blurry.
The cubs depend on their mother until seventeen to twenty-four months of age. At this time, they become independent. They are still considered juvenile or young white Bengal tigers at this age. About half of all the cubs will not make it to adulthood.
Juvenile tigers become adult tigers at different ages depending on whether they are a male or female. Males mature around 4–5 years and females at 3–4 years.
Endangered White Tigers
White tigers are often referred to as “endangered.” This is not true. Since the white tiger is not an actual subspecies of tiger, it is just a white Bengal tiger. The “White tiger” can be classified as endangered or extinct. However, tigers themselves are threatened.
Tigers populations are dwelling. There are about 8,000 in captivity and 5,000 living in the wild. White tigers have been extinct from the wild since the 1950s, and the last known wild white tiger was killed in 1956. Before this date, white tigers became endangered because of trophy hunting (hunting to show off) and habitat loss. The only white tigers still living today are in captivity.
White Tigers And Zoos
Suppose you want to get up close and personal with a white tiger. It will be pretty tricky unless you fly to the tiger’s natural habitat and search. Only about 200 are left in captivity, and the tigers are spread worldwide. Havana Zoo in Havana, Cuba, has its first white tiger cub, born in 2021.
In 2011, the US Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) banned the breeding of white tigers by their member zoos. These tigers are often selectively bred, which can lead to health problems. When tigers are not allowed to breed naturally with tigers unrelated to them, they are often born with physical and mental medical conditions.
Fun Tiger Facts
White tigers are a variation of the tiger species. Here are some fun facts about tigers!
- Tigers are the world’s largest cats.
- The first tiger was discovered over 2 million years ago.
- A tiger’s roar can be heard over 1 mile away.
- A strike from a tiger’s paw could break a human’s bones or kill them.
- Tiger’s salvia has healing properties. They will lick a wound to help it heal.
- Tigers are really good swimmers.
These fun facts are just a few things that make these large cats some of the coolest and most interesting in the world!
Quick White Tiger Facts
These amazing tiger facts focus on the specific white tiger.
- Siegfried and Roy used white tigers in their Las Vegas show for years.
- The white tiger has blue eyes.
- A white tiger can run as fast as 60 miles per hour.
- White tigers are often bred for money, not to help the tiger population.
The white tiger is one of the rarest tigers you may see in captivity. Although beautiful, we must remember that these tigers are still wild animals and should be treated with respect and admired from a distance.